It could be perceived a cop-out to write that Kid Kapichi’s debut deserves a Spinal Tap-style 11/10, but it’s tempting. ‘This Time Next Year’ is fierce and daring, with all the punk-meets-alt-rock you could want. So much so, I can almost feel the angst being conjured from within. It’s slick and polished — it’s as open and shut as that. But let’s dig a little deeper…
First of all, can we just take a minute to appreciate the gravity of this being a self-released record? Without any label backing, Kid Kapichi have not only done all the hard graft musically, but organisationally as well. It’s no mean feat. Back in January, they also spent some time at second place on the iTunes pre-orders chart, just behind the rock heavyweights that are Foo Fighters. This is big stuff. And as I type, they’re climbing that iTunes chart!
Now, we finally get the suave swagger of ‘Glitterati’, almighty ‘Sardines’ and hell-raising ‘Thugs’ in one place. Does it get any better? Well, while the triumphant singles of ‘Working Man’s Town’ and ‘Self Saboteur’ lift the profile a notch again, that’s still not it for the incredible sounds that Kid Kapichi gift us on this dazzling debut.
Albums don’t start in more exciting ways than with the opening riffs of ‘First World Goblins’, a title every Spider-Man fan the world over would be tickled by. It’s ultra-heavy and deserves to be played riotously loudly — I mean, as does all their material, but this is especially ferocious! It’s my favourite of the previously unheard tracks, with the repetitively evocative ‘Violence’ hitting the nail on the head, and the playful, indie-tinged ‘Fomo Sapiens’ another one to savour, too.
When I reach ‘Dotted Line’, I’m reminded of old-school Arctic Monkeys, which then descends into a classic KK chorus. And the eerily on-point ‘Don’t Kiss Me (I’m Infected)’ kids my ears — for a split second — that I’m suddenly playing the Yes back catalogue. Then the drum beats and harsh riffs ignite that familiar sound embedded into the rest of the record.
It’s only right to address the raw, pared-back beauty of ‘Hope’s a Never Ending Funeral’ separately. With keys underpinning the whole track before it explodes to an anthemic and thought-provoking close, this final song draws the album to an end dramatically. It slowly fades to a curtain call moment, then the urge to revisit the record all over again kicks in. It’s a stripped-back piece I can’t wait to hear from a sweaty crowd in a plucky little Leeds venue.
It isn’t just the deft instrumental command and power that Kid Kapichi delivers in spades, it’s their lyrical insights, too. Of course we want to fly to Mars on a gold Concorde, we might not always believe in growing up, and it is hard to get what we want — they’re not wrong on any count. And what would my mother say to that? She would agree. It’s not only lyrical genius present; the album serves as a hotbed of socioeconomically and politically motivated verses, each one culminating to the point of sheer accuracy. They have their fingers on the pulse, understanding the mood of dissident Britain today, and it’s all fed into these pounding tracks. So many things are wrong and disjointed in society, and this talent-oozing band has picked up on that and captured the ears and souls of the nation.
So, in short, prepare to be gripped. You’ll be rinsing this 12-track beast hereafter, so I tip my hat to the legends behind it.
If you only download one track, let it be: THE LOT! I can’t possibly pick out just one.